My Carbonara does not claim do be authentic. I add cream, mushrooms and peas without apology because my version of Carbonara is quick, easy, full of flavour and ready in about 10 minutes. A perfect speedy weeknight dinner if ever there was one.
You may by now have noticed my propensity for eating bacon and eggs in pretty much every permutation possible. I’ll pop bacon in an eggy quiche, make my famous triple decker sandwich, pop ham in a breakfast casserole and I’ll even use my eggy bread to make the perfect bacon sandwich! And so it only seems right that I share my version of that classic Italian dish Carbonara. There is literally nothing authentic about this recipe – there is far too much sauce for an Italian, I refuse to use spaghetti because who can be bothered to fanny around eating it? And the lack of vegetables in my diet in general is addressed with the addition of peas and mushroom – perennial favourite quick additions. Oh and cream – just a little but I find that using just eggs for the sauce much to risky.
I’ve said that this is a 10 minute meal but I will admit that whilst I can walk in from work and have this on the table in about 10 minutes because I throw everything together, if you are going to weigh everything out and read a recipe as you’re doing it, it will probably take a little longer however you shouldn’t have to use every single pot, pan and electrical appliance a la Jamie!
Whilst I am generally a big fan of freezing meals and preparing food ahead of time – this is one dish that does not keep or reheat well so make sure you only start to cook just before you are ready to eat.
150g Fusilli or Fafelle
100g Frozen Peas
250g Smoked Bacon
10 (25og) Closed Cup Mushrooms
6 tbsp Double Cream
50g Grated Mozzerella or Cheddar
Sea Salt Flakes
Start by putting the kettle onto boil.
Meanwhile put 150g Fusilli or Fafelle into a medium size saucepan with 50g Frozen Peas.
Pour the now boiling water over the pasta and peas and put on a high heat until boiling and then turn down a little so it is a gentle rolling boil. Stir the pasta every now and again whilst cracking on with the rest of the dish.
Chop 250g Smoked Bacon into small pieces using scissors directly into a frying pan on a medium high heat.
Stir the bacon whilst slicing 10 (25og) Closed Cup Mushrooms into thin slices and adding them to the bacon pan. Add a few sprays of Frylight if your bacon is quite lean and a little extra lubricant is needed.
Take the bacon and mushrooms off the heat or turn it right down if they are browned and ready before the pasta is cooked and the eggs whisked.
While the mushrooms cook and the pasta continues to boil, take 4 Eggs and crack two into a bowl along with only the egg yolks from the third and forth. Add 6 tbsp Double Cream to the eggs with 50g Grated Mozzerella or Cheddar a generous pinch of Sea Salt Flakes and whisk until well combined.
When the pasta is cooked to your preference remove a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water and add this to the bacon and mushroom pan before straining the pasta and peas and adding that to the frying pan along with the egg, cream and cheese mixture.
Make sure the frying pan is on a very low heat or if there is a lot of retained heat, take it off the heat entirely periodically whilst stirring everything together – you do not want the eggs to cook through fast and scramble.
The dish is ready when the sauce is hot and slightly thickened with the cheese fully melted – only a minute or two at the most.
Let me know what you think in the comments – do you prefer to keep things authentic or mix it up?
Pin Me For Later – Carbonara
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For more easy weeknight dinner ideas, why not check out some of my other popular recipes:
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Turkey and Butternut Chowder
Cheese, Leek and Thyme Risotto with Optional Bacon Topper
Pan Fried Gnocchi with Chicken Meatballs and Pea Puree (10 Minute Meal)
Skinny Mac’n’Cheese Side Dish (or Full Meal with Gammon and Mushrooms)
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